The two advisers behind Theresa May’s disastrous election campaign have resigned.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, the prime minister’s joint chiefs, both handed in their resignations on Saturday.
The pair quit after warnings that Mrs May faced a leadership challenge from within the Conservative Party as early as Monday if she didn’t sack them.
The two advisers had taken a lot of the blame for the Tories’ election catastrophe, in which the party failed to win an overall majority of seats in the House of Commons.
According to a former communications aide to Mrs May, Mr Timothy and Ms Hill were ‘destructive and arrogant’ and created a ‘toxic’ atmosphere at Number 10.
In a statement given to the Conservatives Home website, Mr Timothy said he regretted not including a cap on the party’s controversial social care policy – dubbed the so-called ‘dementia tax’.
He wrote: ‘I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme.
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‘In particular, I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care.
‘I take responsibility for the content of the whole manifesto, which I continue to believe is an honest and strong programme for government.’
In her own statement on Conservative Home, Ms Hill wrote: ‘It’s been a pleasure to serve in government, and a pleasure to work with such an excellent prime minister.
‘I have no doubt at all that Theresa May will continue to serve and work hard as prime minister – and do it brilliantly.’
Former Downing Street communications director Katie Perrior accused the pair of bullying staff at Number 10.
Writing in The Times newspaper on Saturday, she said: ‘What I could never work out was whether Mrs May condoned their behaviour and turned a blind eye or didn’t understand how destructive they both were.
‘For all the love of a hierarchy, the chiefs treated cabinet members exactly the same — rude, abusive, childish behaviour.’
‘For two people who have never achieved elected office, I was staggered at the disrespect they showed on a daily basis.’